Local scare: International ghost hunters return to Santa Cruz County, visit Tuttle Mansion

The Tuttle Mansion on East Lake Avenue is slated to be featured in an upcoming paranormal investigation documentary. — Johanna Miller/Register-Pajaronian File Photo

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY —Next week, things will get spooky in Santa Cruz County — from high in the mountains to the heart of the Pajaro Valley.

International paranormal researcher Don Philips and his team of investigators with American Supernatural will join the Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters for a special visit to the historic Brookdale Lodge in the town of Brookdale this Sunday. They will be screening their new documentary about the recently reopened lodge, entitled “The Brookdale Lodge: Uncovered.”

The lodge was first built as the headquarters of a lumber mill in the 1800s and eventually transformed into a hotel. It became a destination for the rich and famous, including a number of known gangsters in the 1940s and 1950s. Rumors of bodies buried beneath the hotel, and then a string of deaths and other accidents at the lodge would lead to its reputation as a hot-spot for paranormal activity.

Philips, who is based in the UK, flew all the way to Santa Cruz to film a week-long investigation of the lodge one year ago. He now returns to present the completed documentary to Santa Cruz County residents before the general public.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” said Maryanne Porter of Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters, who worked with Philips on “The Brookdale Lodge: Uncovered,” which is slated to officially premiere and appear at a film festival in New York in August.

“Working with Don was an amazing experience,” Porter continued. “He works systematically. There were no scripts or anything, but things flowed so well. He worked really hard on this film.”

Sunday’s screening will include a question and answer period with Philips, Porter and the other Santa Cruz Ghost Hunters.

Following their time at the Brookdale Lodge, the group will travel to South County for a visit to Watsonville’s Tuttle Mansion on East Lake Avenue. They plan to film in and around the mansion early next week, piecing together a new documentary about the infamous location.

Kathy Oliver, who owns the Tuttle Mansion with her sister Jeniffer Oliver, said the group might even spend a night inside the mansion for their extensive investigation.

“We’re really excited have them,” Oliver said. “Who knows what might happen?”

Sunday’s public documentary presentation will be held at 1 p.m. at the Fireside Lounge, inside the Brookdale Lodge, 11570 Highway 9, Brookdale. Space is limited, so it is first come, first served.

Tickets are $10 at the door. Filming of the event is not prohibited.

For information call the lodge at 609-6010 or visit americansupernatural.com.

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